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Newborn shopping list: What you need and what you don’t

Some newborn essentials are necessary, but others are optional or just nice to have. Cut through everything you’re hearing with our top 6 from each category.

Congrats, mama! Your little one is here, and we are all so excited to see them grow up. You’re going to be a great mom!

When it comes to giving your baby everything he or she deserves, you’ll be getting a lot of advice from your mom friends (and probably your own mom). But the truth is, everyone’s needs are different. Our moms shared with us that a few items are more necessary than others. When putting together your list of baby essentials, we’re here to help you sort out what you need, what you don’t, and what might be nice to have.

Baby essentials – no brainers

These are the necessities, based on our moms’ experiences. With these, you’ll have everything you need to keep your baby smiling.

  • 5-7 bottles and bottle cleaning supplies
  • Baby bath
  • Bibs
  • Car seat
  • Changing tables with pads
  • Crib and crib mattress

A quick note on changing tables — some people would argue that you don’t need one, and they’re definitely not wrong. However, our moms have found that it’s good to have a dedicated space to change their babies. Plus, having the changing pads as a buffer for baby accidents during changes... well, that speaks for itself!

Baby essentials – must haves

In addition to the no brainers, we have these must haves. Our mamas swear by these essentials for both you and your baby.

  • Forehead thermometer
  • Gripe water
  • Nasal aspirator (nose sucker)
  • Nipple balm
  • Nipple pads
  • Teether (look for the freezer kind)

A note on gripe water: It’s a liquid herbal remedy that can help your baby with digestion and with colic caused by gassiness. While gripe water is generally safe, avoid using it until your baby is older than one month.

Baby essentials – would be nice

Now that we’ve covered the essentials for your baby, these are the extras that you may find come in handy, but that you can likely live without day-to-day.

  • Nipple shield – If you’ve chosen to nurse your baby, a nipple shield may come in handy. These are made of soft silicone and worn over the nipple during breastfeeding. They have a small hole to allow breast milk to pass through and can help if you have flat or inverted nipples or are breastfeeding a premature baby.
  • Bottle warmer – These are handy to have, especially if your baby really likes their milk at a certain temperature. A portable option is a bonus, because some can be plugged into the auxiliary power outlet in your car when you’re on the go. Just make sure you get one that’s meant for use with breast milk, if you’re pumping.
  • Breast pump – Whether you’re on the go, at work or just at home, a breast pump can make pumping breast milk much easier. A double electric pump pumps both breasts at the same time, so you can get the most out of your time.

Baby non-essentials

Based on our moms’ experiences, these things are not necessary. If they’re given to you as a gift, you can pull them out as needed, and you may fall in love with them. However, these aren’t items you’ll have to grab for yourself, because you may find you hardly (or never) use them.

  • Diaper stacker
  • Formula machine
  • Newborn clothing
  • Shopping cart cover (unless your baby is immune-compromised)
  • Wipe warmer

When it comes to clothes, ask your friends and family for sizes up. People will give you more than you need, so having a variety that your baby can grow into will prove handier than you can imagine. Maybe buy some of the older sizes yourself so you have them! And, unless your baby is very tiny, most babies are wearing 0-3 months when they come home from the hospital, rather than newborn clothing.

Also, babies grow out of clothing so fast, it isn’t worth investing in name brand clothing until they’re older.

Go confidently into your shopping venture, new mama, and know that you can always buy something if you find you need it later. For now, start with these essentials and enjoy your time with your growing family!

Next steps:
Find a pediatrician
Learn about prenatal and postnatal care

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